Shoes and Accessories|October 2019
Overview Over the past decade, the fashion accessory market in India has witnessed a significant surge in importance, as new players have entered the field and the market share in the overall fashion retail industry has increased. The field of fashion accessories covers a diverse array of products and can be divided into seven major categories. Within the non-apparel portion of fashion retail in India, the largest category remains footwear, but the rest is composed of fashion accessory categories of bags, watches, sunglasses, belts, scarves/shawls and hair accessories, not to mention fashion jewellery.
Fashion accessories have only recently been introduced into the formal retail experience. With a long history among the unorganised unbranded market, ranging from street vendors to small “mom and pop stores”, fashion accessories are now also Jacqueline Kapur available in curated collections through luxury boutiques, high street brands, international accessories chains, international brands with accessories sections and multi-brand outlets. The ever-growing e-commerce market has also played a major role in the growth of the fashion accessories industry, offering a vast selection of accessories to shoppers all across India. In contrast to footwear and apparel, most fashion accessories do not depend upon sizing, making them easier to sell online.
Accessories are no longer need-based purchases, but give customers the opportunity to make a fashion statement. The growing need among young urban customers to express their uniqueness has set the stage for the entrance of many international as well as home-grown Indian companies into the evolving world of fashion accessories.
The main target customer for fashion accessories in India is the millennial. Also known as Generation Y, millennial – composed of those between the ages of 18 and 35 – are India’s largest demographic segment. They are the chief wage earners and spend a far greater percentage of their income on consumer products, according to reports. India is well ahead of the global average percentage of population within the millennial bracket, and this demographic is now shaping the retail market in India.
The effects of globalisation have influenced the tastes and consumption patterns of millennial, through international television shows and films, as well as the all-encompassing hold of social media. With their higher disposable income and need to redefine themselves, millennial have championed the rise of fashion accessories into the organised retail market and assured their diversity.
Women are the bastion of the fashion accessory market. The young modern women of India have moved away from buying purely functional accessories to embrace the whole gamut of accessory possibilities. They wear mostly western apparel, which calls for a range of fashion accessories.
The urban girl doesn’t own only one or two functional bags, but has a whole range of them: backpacks for college, slings for hands-free shopping, handbags for more formal outings, a variety of clutches for parties. Her sunglasses not only protect her eyes, but provide the style statement for the day. A shawl may keep her warm, but she will make sure that it is matching with the rest of her outfit, perhaps even making a bold statement with colours and prints. Her jewellery has moved away from the traditional gold jewellery to being an expression of her mood and setting: statement necklaces for the bold fashionistas, petite chains and pendants for the office, ethnic jhumkis no longer only paired with a salwar kameez outfit but worn with rugged jeans and t-shirts to create that “in”boho look.
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